Very Good Article on John 6, 10

Here is a great article on the order of faith and election in the Gospel of John. Thanks to Brian Abasciano for making me aware of this work.

Robert Hamilton, “The Order of Faith and Election in John’s Gospel: You Do Not Believe Because You Are Not My Sheep”

Summary Review:
Calvinists use portions of the Gospel of John to establish the concept of unconditional particular election. For example this passage:

Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. John 10:25-26 (NIV)

Calvinists point to this passage to prove particular election before faith – that the non-believing Jews didn’t follow Jesus because God didn’t elect them to believe.

Hamilton argues that this is a misinterpretation of the passage, and doesn’t take into account the historical context. He argues that the sheep were God fearing Jews who seeking after the Father prior to the arrival of Jesus. When Jesus came, all these God fearing Jews (and later Gentiles) were given by the Father to the son, and these are the sheep Jesus speaks of.

On the other hand, the non-believing Jews were not following God prior to the coming of Jesus, and therefore were not given to him by the Father.

So the passage is not about particular election before faith. It is simply Jesus explaining to the Pharisees that they were not following him because they were not following the Father in the first place.



Filed under John 10, John 6

2 responses to “Very Good Article on John 6, 10

  1. How then does this relate to John 10:14-16?14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. Who are these sheep that are not of this fold? I would argue that these are the gentiles, because the focus is on unity (one flock, one shepherd) but also going out and gathering.The way that he gathers them is by speaking, calling them to him.

  2. Hi Founder, thanks for stopping by. I agree, John 10:14-16 refers to Gentiles. This fits very well with Hamilton's interpretation. Just as there were God fearing Jews who were given over to Christ, there were God fearing Gentiles who were given as well. Hamilton writes: In a secondary sense, the set of those who “belong” to the Father also includes God-fearing Gentiles (e.g., Cornelius, Acts 10:2), those who have been receptive to God’s prevenient grace leading them to repentance and whom the Father now leads to faith in the Son (John 10:16; 11:52).

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